Business Alignment Through Customer Engagement
Most business leaders are quick to claim they put customers first. In our experience, that’s not always the case. All too often in business, revenue comes first—and the customer is a distant second.
In other instances, the customer comes first—but at a detriment to the business. When a handful of customers drive the majority of revenues, business leaders want to invest in keeping those buyers happy. The danger is that it’s easy for the organization to start catering to top-tier customers—and even neglecting other priorities in the process.
Any successful business must have balance. The business strategy must drive the organization forward—and align with customers’ wants and needs. And that’s where Concentre comes in.
Strategic Customer Engagement
An IT service provider recently asked us to help them win back their biggest customer. The company was threatening to go with another IT partner unless our client could turn things around. Their business was losing revenue due to a host of IT issues. Among other things, it meant that available products weren’t being listed for sale. Perhaps more important: After two decades of working together, our client had never established a dedicated support function or a formal service agreement with the customer.
Our first step was to create some immediate “wins” to revitalize the relationship—and to pave the way for a long-term roadmap to sustained success. Through close collaboration with our client and the customer, we looked at issues of content, functionality, support, and infrastructure. In each of those areas, we identified the “Do Now” and “Rapid Impact” items with the potential for immediate improvement. At the same time, we helped our client begin to forge one-to-one relationships with their customer counterparts. Working simultaneously in the short- and long-term helps foster communication and trust.
Realign the Business
With a plan in place to address the customer’s near-term pains, our client began to look at their own business and product strategies. We learned that our client had tailored many of its products and services to this VIP customer. Not only did those bespoke products and services suffer from a lack of support, but many of them ran counter to our client’s business objectives. The challenge for our client was to create a strategy that satisfied the customer’s needs while still moving their own organization forward.
As the IT service provider actively engaged their customer through a dedicated account team, the most valuable solutions—from products to infrastructure—began to reveal themselves. Our client thought long and hard about those offerings relative to their other customers. In the end, they developed a stable product and service strategy for the entire line of business.
Align with Success
At Concentre, we teach our clients to fish. It’s not about fixing what’s broken and then moving on. Instead, our clients can continue to benefit from our work together—because they have the systems and processes in place to succeed. Working with Concentre, our client reclaimed a seat at their customer’s table—and earned the trust and respect of a value-added partner. More than that, they created alignment between their customers’ needs and their business objectives. So now, our client can offer clearly differentiated products and services to prospects around the world.